Adrienne Harris (left)

Recreational market rejuvenated

A $3.2 million residential property has been unveiled in Okanagan Landing

It wouldn’t have looked out of place on the former MTV reality show Cribs. That one where celebrities welcomed TV cameras into their posh homes to show how fabulous their lives were.

And it very well could take a celebrity, pro athlete or some other well-to-do entrepreneur to pony up the $3.2 million asking price for Vernon’s latest recreational property listing.

Built this year on a 66-foot Okanagan Lake lot by Woodstyle Homes, the newest offering by Calgary-based developer Roots and Wings is the first of three high-end projects the firm has planned for the area. The next one is to be built on the adjacent lot.

Carla Dahlen, the listing realtor with Century 21 Executives, says it’s one of several indicators showing all sectors of the housing market are on the upswing. The price of a single-family house has risen three per cent from last year, and inventory is down 10 per cent in the same time frame.

In the high-end market, four properties above $2 million (one was $5.5 million) have sold in the past year, which is nearly triple the previous year. Dahlen said Kelowna has experienced more activity in real estate than Vernon, but added there is normally a ripple effect that spreads out to smaller communities.

Dahlen notes the North Okanagan has several benefits over the Kelowna market.

She estimates a property similar to the one in Okanagan Landing would list for more than 10 per cent higher, which could mean several hundred thousand dollars saved. Given the similar amenities available in each city, she believes Vernon is well-placed in the recreational market.

“Thirty minutes from the airport – lots of people are looking for that,” said Dahlen.

“They want to be able to fly in, get to their house, relax and enjoy. Vernon’s really coming into its own. We have everything you need right here.”

When asked who would realistically buy the lakefront property, Dahlen replied: “Alberta and Saskatchewan are the main driving forces behind some of the recreational properties. Plus, we’re finding the U.S. market is rising.”

With its floor-to-ceiling windows, expansive living room area and riser-less staircase, it is impressive just walking around the Okanagan Landing house. But it isn’t until you notice the fine details – such as the built-in fridges and freezers, one-touch cupboards and sound-dampened entertainment room – that it really does offer all the creature comforts.

Listed at 5,122-square-feet, you would expect to have your eyes assaulted by some monstrosity perched along the windy roadside. Yet the bulk of the building is below road grade, leaving just the top two floors in view.

The massive structure boasts four bedrooms, plus office, four full bathrooms, 2.5 baths, two laundry rooms, media room, family room and living room. There are four decks, three of which overlook the lake. There is also a dock with a 7,000-pound boat lift.

One feature of the listing is it includes a one-year concierge package from Portico Property Management.

Portico, owned by husband-wife duo of Adam and Adrienne Harris, specialize in vacant properties, including estates and trusts. They handle everything from snow maintenance to weekly property inspections to stocking the wine bar before the owner drops by for the weekend.

“It’s anything from delivering a car to the airport to buying groceries before they comes out,” said Adrienne.

“We take care of everything. Boats in the water, all gassed up. The patio furniture is out, you name it. We’re a one-stop shop for the client. We work with over 140 subcontractors in Vernon.”

Donovan Imbeau, of Woodstyle Homes, said working with an open-minded developer on a high-end home was a treat.

“It’s those new little cutting-edge things you don’t normally see in the average home,” said Imbeau.

“You’re working with somebody with a little more of a budget so you can do some of those fun features. It was a matter of getting a feel of what she wants and working through the process with her.”


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